Visiting the Catholic Education Melbourne website I noticed a section about Learning spaces.
The website discusses how schools should develop their physical landscape and how to direct learning. They aim to create learning spaces that are open, flexible, environmentally sustainable, including ICT and furniture. It states that areas should include collaborative learning, individual learning, small group and support services. These are some of the learning spaces that I have looked at in my blog.
I have created a Prezi to explain the different types of learning spaces:
~ the classroom and the school
~ beyond the classroom
~ the electronic learning space
~ the individual learning space
~ the group learning space
~ learning in the 21st century
I thought I might post my drawing of Scorpionum: antiquis creaturae pulcritudinem.
The scorpion I drew in science was a Urodacus elongates (I think). The opportunity to observe a real-life scorpion was a fantastic experience and one that is very effective in the classroom. It reminds me of the zoo/wildlife incursions organised at schools these days. Seeing animals and creatures in real-life can be so enriching and it brings to life everything that you have been learning about.
The learning space while drawing these scorpions was individual but also grouped because you were able to discuss features of the scorpions with peers nearby. The lesson was student-centred where plenty of questions were raised about the specific features found on this magnificent creature. It was amazing to notice the perspectives of everyone in the class… some drew the main outline of the scorpion and others noticed the tiniest details.
In my drawings, I tried to draw the scorpion from both the top view and bottom view. One of the drawings are incomplete (as you can see) but I enjoyed the lesson nonetheless.
Group learning spaces can be discussed in relation to the classroom physical layout, group work with students, and curriculum collaboration with teachers. It is a learning space that is highly used in education and it always altering so that everyone reaps its benefits.
The open plan classroom is a relatively new layout in schools that involves a shared space with more than one classroom groups. The teachers share this learning space while still teaching their own group of children. It can be hard at first because it is not a traditional classroom, but it can improve because the teachers can build relationships with their colleagues and assist each other. Also, the students can be organised into groups, develop their skills with others and stay on task easier.
Students placed with their peers for projects can be organised based on collaboration, cooperation or group work. Collaboration and cooperation are fairly similar because teachers can plan for the task to be equally distributed to all participants. Presently, teachers are more aware of the problem of group work where in groups some people do all the work while others slack off and get all the good results. This is the main difference and it can be avoided if there is a clear criteria of the task which states jobs for each participate where they have to work together collectively in order to complete.
Lastly, the curriculum is used by all teachers to plan their classroom teaching. At schools, teachers work together, either as a big group or small year-level groups, to organise how to plan learning based on the curriculum. This involves a lot of team work and involvement from all teachers and can help build a great unit of work mainly because they can bounce off each other’s ideas.
A community of practice is a group of people who share a common concern, interest or passion which they learn about universally through experiences, stories and routines. It is NOT an individual practice with people who have social interests that has no learning opportunities.
– Domain: shared domain of interest involving commitment and competence in group.
– Community: group members engage in activities and discussion to share information and learn from each other.
– Practice: develop resources like experiences, stories, and tools which involves time and interaction.
A PLN is a personal learning network where like-minded people join groups to discuss information about teaching content, pedagogy etc. The discussions can be face-to-face or they can be online using various websites. The websites let you converse with people all over the world which is a great way to expand your knowledge and meet new people. The discussion can be based on anything that relates to teaching from any source like books, Internet, conferences, PD’s and much more. The PLN involves talking about your experiences when researching, collaborating and discussing ways of advancing teaching practices.
These days, it is about sharing mostly on an online environment (like this) using the vast variety of information provided by the Internet.